Numerous ecosystems exist along the coast and marine areas of West and Central Africa. Some of these ecosystems include seashores, wetlands, lagoons, estuaries and mangrove forests, etc. These ecosystems provide critical services to support the survival of coastal communities. However, over utilization of coastal ecosystems as a result of rapid population increase, unplanned settlements and urbanisation over the years have affected their sustainability. Coastal resources have therefore become polluted, depleted and several species of fauna and flora are undergoing extinction. Options for the coastal ecosystems management and biodiversity conservation have become very limited because of increasing poverty. This research theme explores avenues of understanding the various ecosystem types as well as the drivers of pollution and depletion. The ultimate goal is to ensure sustainable restoration and conservation of coastal ecosystems and biodiversity in West and Central Africa sub-region.
The proposed research areas outlined above are interrelated and will ultimately produce results that will feed into each other and present a broad direction for managing coastal degradation through the delivery of: